The purchase of storage lots improves autonomy, creates a new recreation area, a cemetery

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The Stow City Government has major real estate projects at the corner of Call and Young Roads including an improved driving range, new graveyard and new recreation area that will create a “green belt” between Silver Springs Park and Fox Den Golf Course.

“It’s definitely a great opportunity for us to create a recreation center and connect the three properties,” said Chief of Staff Nick Wren. “We felt this was important to us going forward, and we hope to see what the community really wants to see there.”

Following: Town and Hanson family reach agreement in principle to purchase land

Earlier this month, the city closed the 36-acre property at a cost of $ 2 million after a year of negotiations. The Hanson family agreed to forgo the highest bid of $ 2.05 million to a developer in order to sell to the city.

The purchase comes as Stow is over a third of the way through the process of creating a master plan with Pros Consulting, which will ultimately guide the city on its land use over the next five to ten years, the director said. of Parks and Recreation, Linda Nahrstedt. .

The approved certified plan is expected to be completed by April.

Stakeholder interviews and focus groups have already been completed and Pros Consulting is currently conducting a statistically valid survey. Another community survey is expected to be released in mid-November.

“We are not just waiting for the master plan to arrive,” said Mayor John Pribonic. “We have some general maintenance items that we need to take care of, and we’re starting to work at Fox Den, but how do we differentiate ourselves from other cities? What is our individuality? ”

Here’s what’s in the works:

Fox Den Driving Range

By October, Fox Den Golf Course had achieved total revenue of $ 1.5 million this year, breaking its old record of $ 1.257 million in 2020. By October 20, it had already reached $ 100,000 for the month, breaking its previous record for October.

Seeking to further capitalize on the popularity of the golf course and continue to generate profits even after the season ends, the city is considering wishlist upgrades worth approximately $ 200,000, which will be part of of the investment budget proposed by the administration for 2022.

The city is working with golf consultant Brian Huntley on improvements, including an enlarged hitting zone, raised tees and an enlarged teaching area with a putting green, chipping area and sand shot bunkers.

The golf course currently has three senior PGA instructors who are “booked solid,” Wren said, and they are now in discussions with club companies about a partnership to open an education center.

The city will be removing trees at the back of the property, adding an additional 20 yards to the range, which will reduce the cost of stray bullets.

The city is also hoping to add 8 to 12 heated stalls that could generate income in the winter.

Along with this possibility, the city is considering a new bullet vending machine that would accept credit cards.

Currently, users must cross Call Road to the Fox Den Pro store to purchase tokens and then return to the driving range to exchange the tokens for balls. A new machine that accepts credit cards would reduce foot traffic on Call Road and allow golfers to use the driving range even when the pro shop is closed.

Hanson Cemetery

Over the past three years, the city has explored options to expand its funeral offerings. Stow has only 50 traditional graves left at Silver Springs Cemetery. Both Stow and Maple Lawn cemeteries are sold out for coffin burials.

Residents have already suggested expanding the Silver Springs Cemetery, but Wren said the option was not cost-effective as an expansion would eat away at the town’s dump, a vital resource for various town projects, and not collect enough sites.

The Hanson property already includes a family cemetery. The city plans to create a new 6.1-acre cemetery around this area in the northeast corner.

“We looked at different properties that maybe were available, but it didn’t work for one reason or another – it cost too much or someone outbid us,” Pribonic said. “We know people want to be buried here in Stow, so this is an important room for us.”

The new cemetery would probably contain 3,500 graves.

City officials have already walked through the family cemetery with Fred Hanson to identify known burials and will use a sonar identification company to make sure no other graves are disturbed.

Wren said the cemetery would be accessible on Young Road, while recreational spaces are accessible on Call Road, and that there would be plenty of natural buffer between the two to create a serene and respectful space.

Recreational area

The city administration will use the master plan to guide the use of the remaining 20 acres.

“We are looking not to have the entire property to be golf centric and to provide other recreational opportunities for people who don’t play golf,” Wren said.

Pribonic noted that because Stow does not have a city center, the city must capitalize on its green spaces and recreational opportunities.

“Every recreational activity that we offer is actually coming back to us in terms of economic development,” he said. “We want to make it a destination and we want residents to bring in people from outside to show them what Stow has to offer.”

Journalist Krista S. Kano can be reached at 330-541-9416, [email protected] or on Twitter @KristaKanoABJ.


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